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Government Shutdown Continues: Seven Things You Should Know

Sara Newman |
October 9, 2013 | 7:50 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer


Washington D.C. struggles with government shutdown, photo by Sara Newman
Washington D.C. struggles with government shutdown, photo by Sara Newman
After nine days of the government shutdown, there is still a lot that Americans are trying to wrap their heads around. The consequences of the government gridlock are vast, yet they are far from evenly distributed. 

      1. This is the sixth largest shutdown (for now at least).

On its ninth day of dysfunction, the federal government is currently experiencing the sixth largest shutdown in the nation’s history. With no clear end in sight, however, it we may soon rise higher on the list, passing 1976’s 10-day shutdown, 1979’s 11-day shutdown, and 1977’s 12-day shutdown. 

2. The government shutdown is becoming a forum for politicians to test their political might. 

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner now have taken such hardline positions on the issues of Obamacare and the government shutdown, that now they need to work just as hard to politically support themselves as they do to advance the interests of the American public. “I am happy to talk with [Boehner] and other Republicans about anything, not just issues I think are important but also issues that they think are important,” said the president in a press conference. “But I also told him that having such a conversation, talks, negotiations shouldn’t require hanging the threats of a government shutdown or economic chaos over the heads of the American people.” Boehner, on the other hand, has remained adamant about resisting the president’s demand for “unconditional surrender.”

3. Military Veterans are really hurting from the shutdown. 

If the government shutdown does not end soon, the http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57606695/government-shutdown-hitting... " target="_blank">5.18 million people who depend on the checks to pay for rent, groceries, mortgages, college tuition, and other expenses will face serious repercussions. In addition to the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department furloughing 7,800 employees,  $6.25 billion may be withheld from beneficiaries next month. So keep paying inept congressmen and let our veterans suffer the consequences….make sense?

4. Federal prisoners are getting paid; their guards and supervisors are not. 

Yes, you read that right. Nearly 36,000 workers for the Federal Bureau of Prisons have to keep working while furloughed; but because inmates get their compensation for work done in prison through a different system, their checks continue coming to arrive. "It gets frustrating when you've got a group of individuals sitting in Washington getting paid, and they're basically doing nothing for us right now," Michele Kunkel told CBS.   

5.People who decided to take advantage of close national parks could face jail time.

Pranksters who have been hopping the fences to national parks across the country could face six months of jail time. Hearings for the nature-loving deviants are set to begin Oct. 16. “Across the country, Americans are deliberately being denied access to open-air memorials and national parks…This is shameful and wrong and we intend to hold the Obama Administration accountable for their actions,” said the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee

6. In case you are wary about nuclear energy, now is the time to freak out. 

On Thursday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which monitors 100 commercial nuclear power plans around the country is set to furlough 3,600 employees due to depleted funds. The shutdown will halt non-emergency licensing of nuclear reactors, emergency exercises, and inspections of nuclear materials and waste licenses. "Despite our best hopes, the NRC on Thursday will be joining the rest of the federal government in shutting down due to a lapse in appropriations," wrote Allison Macfarlane on the NRC blog

7. Even if the politicians can weather the shutdown, the city of Washington D.C. faces serious issues. 

Washington D.C.’s Mayor Vincent Gray warned that city services such as sanitization, schools, police, and firefighters are in precarious positions due to the city’s rapidly depleting funds. The D.C. Council approved use of emergency funds to keep local governmental operations running, but has not yet been granted permission to spend its own local funds to finance the continuation of services. 

People in different cities, professions, and walks of life have had to make adjustments of varying degrees to continue functioning while the politicians struggle to reach an agreement. As the shutdown continues, people will have to keep figuring out how to survive without paychecks, public services, and federally-funded programs 

See more of Neon Tommy's coverage of the federal shutdown here

Contact Executive Producer Sara Newman here. Tweet her here



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